It hasn’t taken long for Jose Iglesias to show his value for the Detroit Tigers.
Many fans of the team were upset to hear that Avisail Garcia was traded within the division to the Chicago White Sox and that the Tigers were receiving a young utility infielder who didn’t exactly have a spot at the time of the trade. Following the suspension of Jhonny Peralta, the deal now makes complete sense.
Iglesias has already made a few plays that Peralta, as good as he is defensively, simply would not be able to make. Iglesias made a diving stop on Saturday against the New York Yankees that showed his range and defensive instincts. He looks completely natural playing shortstop and even makes the position look easy.
As a team who is already a little sluggish defensively, adding someone who could potentially go down as the greatest defensive shortstop in team history makes a world of sense. Miguel Cabrera is certainly a solid defender on balls he can reach, but he doesn’t have the same type of range at the position as some of the more agile third basemen.
Iglesias’ ability to cover ground makes Cabrera’s defense more than adequate. Not only does he make sense for the current group of Tigers, but he’ll play a major role in improving the team as a whole even if he doesn’t bring a lot to the table with his bat.
The Tigers don’t need a guy like Peralta who can jack home runs. They need someone like Iglesias to shore up the defense. With the ground ball pitchers on the Tigers’ staff, he should get plenty of opportunities to show why the Tigers were willing to trade within their division.
Alan Trammell is the guy most fans will compare him to, and while Trammell may have been better at the plate, there’s no doubt Iglesias will get the nod defensively when all is said and done. And as a shortstop, the bat isn’t as important — especially when the greatest hitter in the game is already on his team.